Misbelief – What Makes Rational People Believe Irrational Things
Dan Ariely, professor, psychologist specialising in behavioural sciences and best-selling author, publishes Misbelief, a riveting new book that explores the human side of misin-formation, analysing what drives the most rational people to adopt completely irrational beliefs.
“Do you have a friend or family member who changed in some dramatic ways in the last few years? So, much so that you no longer understand them? Over the last few years I have been on a journey into some of the darkest corners of the internet, trying to make sense of what was hap-pening around us. In MISBELIEF, which is out this week, I weave my personal story and research in an effort to shed light on this complex and important process. Misbeliefs are not just about other people, they are also about our own beliefs. This book will allow you to question your own beliefs, and how well you really know what you think you know. More generally, and important for society, this book is also about trust, the trust crisis we are in, and what it means for us as we go into the next election season.” Dan Ariely
While recognising the dangers of misinformation, we are all unwitting victims of it: social networks, the media, casual conversations on the bus or with our circle of acquaintances all contribute to making us formulate erroneous beliefs that are merely a personal inter-pretation of reality. In Misbelief, Dan Ariely argues that, in order to understand the irra-tional appeal of misinformation, it is necessary to know the meaning of ‘disbelief’, i.e. that psychological spring that makes us distrust universally accepted truths and consider alternative facts or conspiracy theories as real. Based on years of study and research, as well as the author’s personal experience during the lockdown, Misbelief is an analysis of the psychological factors that cause rational people to adopt deeply irrational beliefs. Using the most recent scientific and psychological research, Ariely reveals some of the key emotional and cognitive elements that drive us into the ‘funnel of disbelief’, while providing some useful tools to deal more consciously with the complex universe of in-formation which constantly bombards us.